Human Motor Miles vs. Low-Carb Commuting

Some pretty good suggestions have been made in my search for a new name for my sustainability miles project, but the two finalists appear to be “Human Motor Miles” (inspired by a local triathlon store called Human Motor Works) and “Low-Carb Commuting” (referring to the amount of carbon produced in transit, rather than carbohydrates consumed).

As we discussed this around the dinner table the other day, Colleen said she prefers Human Motor Miles because she likes to think about “your inside motor going.” Bob and Ben, meanwhile, got caught up in the question of whether it’s possible for humans to travel anywhere without producing some kind of carbon. Breathing produces carbon dioxide, obviously, and “agriculture used in producing human fuel contributes to carbon emissions, especially if you eat meat,” noted my husband.

Whichever name I settle on, the guys in the household think I should start tracking vehicle miles vs. miles traveled under my own power. That sounds daunting, but maybe it’s not really, since I’m the primary driver of our Chevy Aveo (until Ben gets his license next month, that is).

Meanwhile, I’ve been having fun the last few days exploring the Towpath Trail in Southwest Fort Wayne as a bike route I could take to the office. Going the whole way would mean 20+ miles, some of it in the dark, given the time I’d have to leave. But I’m thinking about driving partway, leaving my car at one of the trail head parking lots and then riding the rest of the way to work.


The trail ends at the Carole Lombard house along the Saint Marys River, just a couple of blocks from Fort Wayne Newspapers. The former home of the WW2 era actress (and Clark Gable’s wife) used to be a bed and breakfast, but it doesn’t look like it is any longer.

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